Whilst Members were asked to consider a number of projects for the future, they were mindful that residents are struggling with the increased cost of living and wanted to ensure that they kept the percentage increase to residents of Ledbury as low as possible, whilst still being able to function.
Residents will recall that in 2023/24 Ledbury Town Council, along with Newent and Ross-on-Wye Town Councils, provided funding in the sum of £24,000 towards the Daffodil Line. This funding was taken from the Council’s General Reserve which meant that the Council could keep its precept request down and not burden local residents with that cost.
They were recently approached by Buses 4Us, who are the group who set up the Daffodil Line, asking for further support in 2024/25 and 2025/26. Ledbury Town Council recognised that the bus service being provided by Buses 4Us was being used by a number of students to get to and from school and that it was being used by residents from all three towns and providing a vital link from Ledbury to Newent.
Therefore, it was felt by Members that they should continue to support this service and have agreed to provide a further £16,000 towards the service in 2024/25 and £8,000 in 2025/26 from its annual budget, after which time it is anticipated that the service will be self-funding and no longer in need of support from the three Town Councils.
However, whilst considering the budget Members considered that the money spent on the Christmas Lights in Ledbury, could be better spent on other projects and it was agreed to reduce the funds for any new contract for the lights to £15,000 per annum and to also contact local businesses to ask if they would consider donations towards the costs.
Some of the projects planned for 2024/25, include a new CCTV system at the recreation ground and Council offices, some new play equipment at the recreation ground, the development of a scatter garden at the Ledbury Cemetery, installation of Speed Indicator Devices and many other projects.
The outcome of the 2024/25 budget process resulted in an increase of £8.63 per annum to a Band D equivalent household. This equates to £0.72 per month which is an increase 4.79% on the Town Council’s precept request of 2023/24 of which 2.46% is the increase due to the cost of the funding for the Daffodil Line.
Copy of the Draft Budget can be found here